According to the American Lung Association, nearly 90% of current adult smokers began smoking by their 18th birthday thus making delayed initiation of cigarette smoking a priority in order to eliminate tobacco-related disease; the most preventable cause of death and disability in Vermont and in America today.
Great strides have been made in reducing the overall youth cigarette smoking rate in Vermont. However, across Vermont Supervisory Unions and Districts there exist statistically significant disparities in youth smoking behavior revealed in the 2013 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey and confirmed in the recently released 2015 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
With reduced funding support from the Tobacco Settlement Fund to school-based efforts anticipated, the Vermont Agency of Education redesigned their grant funding approach in 2016. Their new approach provides increased funding of $30,000 to each of 19 Supervisory Unions and Districts through a competitive grant process driven by the following criteria: youth smoking rate, poverty rate, adult (county) smoking rate together with the robustness of a six strategy work plan (Assessment, Policy, Curriculum, Teen Smoking Cessation, Youth Asset Development, and Community Engagement) to reduce both youth smoking and youth e-cigarette use rate by 5% by 2020, respectively and the SU/SD having in place an infrastructure for success to put the work plan into action.
Robert Uerz, Tobacco Use Prevention Education Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 479-1437